Slang. A locked van used by the police to transport prisoners to and from jail. (unsure of origin)

Alternate name for the card game hearts. Refers to the queen of spades which scores badly in this game.

Ingredients: Combine in a brandy snifter, add cracked ice.

Source: The Webtender (www.webtender.com)


At some point in American history, "black maria" was slang for a police van. The OED suggests that the term came from a real person, Maria Lee of Boston, a black woman who kept a boarding house and assisted police in escorting her drunk and disorderly customers to jail.

Black Maria

    Must be the Black Maria
    That I see,
    The Black Maria that I see---

    But I hope it
    Ain't comin' for me.
    Hear that music playin' upstairs?
    Aw, my heart is
    Full of cares---
    But that music playin' upstairs
    Is for me.

    Babe, did you ever
    See the sun
    Rise at dawnin' full of fun?
    Says, did you ever see the sun rise
    Full of fun, full of fun?
    Then you know a new day's
    Done begun.

    Black Maria passin' by
    Leaves the sunrise in the sky---
    And a new day,
    Yes, a new day's
    Done begun!

    Langston Hughes

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